There's been a lot of buzz lately around economically friendly healthcare products, and feminine hygiene is no exception. Those of us that are both budget and environmentally conscious have moved towards utilizing menstrual cups as a friendlier, less expensive, all-natural alternative to tampons and pads.
Menstrual cups are an environmentally friendly way to deal with your period. You insert the cup, which is typically made from silicone, and remove it periodically to rinse and clean as necessary. Since the cup sits snuggly in your vagina, it is important to keep it clean in order to avoid infection and bacterial or yeast growth.
Whether you're new to using menstrual cups or a seasoned pro, we hope this guide will provide you with beneficial information on how you can safely use your cups each and every month without issue.
So, what are some of the best ways to clean your cup? Read on to learn more…
Menstrual cups, overall, are quite safe. However, it is important to use simple sanitary practices when using your cups. Failure to keep your cups clean and sanitized is a recipe for disaster. Blood, cells and tissue shedding is a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and other creepy crawlies…and no one wants that.
In short, if your cup isn't cleaned appropriately, it is vulnerable to bacterial growth. Bacteria can lead to infections. And if left untreated, these infections can be pose a serious health risk.
In addition to keeping your cups clean and sanitized, we highly recommend thoroughly washing your hands before touching your cups. This simple, yet often overlooked aspect of sanitation, can prevent transmission of bacteria from your hands to your cups.
We've now established that before you use your menstrual cup, you need to sanitize it. But how? Some people who use cups sanitize them between periods as well as immediately prior to insertion.
Regardless of when you opt to clean them, you can sanitize your cup by simply placing it in boiling water. Be sure to bring the water to a bubbling or rolling boil and submerge the cup carefully (we suggest using tongs) for a period of between 3-5 minutes.
We know you've got better things to do, but don't wander off while sanitizing your cup; if the pot dries out, your cup will burn, and you will need to get a new one. And if you overheat the cup it may melt or become disfigured.
Another option is to sanitize your cup in the microwave. Not every cup is microwaveable safe - GOOD NEWS DaisyCup is safe to sanitize in your microwave. Fill a microwave-safe container with water and place your cup inside. Microwave the container with your cup for three to five minutes. Do not use a cover so steam can escape as needed, and let the water cool before removing the cup.
Cleaning differs from sanitizing in that sanitizing is meant specifically to kill off dangerous bacteria whereas cleaning is meant to remove debris.
There are several options for cleaning your cup during your period. You can purchase special wipes or cleansers for cleaning your cup. This isn't necessary, though. Mild soap that is perfume-free, oil-free, and optionally anti-bacterial will do the job. Make sure to rinse the cup completely before you reinsert it to ensure you've removed all the soap.
Many cups have tiny air holes near the rim. Do not try to clean these with a pin or other sharp object, which can harm the cup. Instead, hold the holes under running water to rinse them. If you must use something to clean them, try a soft-bristled toothbrush.
If you are in a public restroom and cleaning your cup isn't practical, you have a couple of options. One is to bring a bottle of water with you into the stall, then rinse the cup over the toilet and pat it dry with toilet paper. The other is to simply wipe out the cup with toilet paper and then clean it at the next opportunity. Either option is fine.
After you sanitize your cup or clean it at the end of your period, let it air dry. Some people like to put their cups someplace sunny, like a windowsill, to dry.
To store your cup, place it in a breathable pouch like the one included with your DaisyCup.
Do not put the cup in a plastic container, as that can keep it from getting the airflow it needs to dry completely. If your cup doesn't dry completely, bacteria and mold can begin to grow.
When in doubt, boil your cup to ensure it is 100% sanitized.
Using a menstrual cup is easy, and keeping it clean is a breeze. With proper hygiene and maintenance your cup can last ages, saving you time, money and offering a safe environmentally friendly alternative to pads and tampons. If you have any questions or need more help, don't hesitate to reach out.